The “Gang of Eight,” as they have come to be called, is a bipartisan group of senators tasked with coming up with a plan to fix an immigration system that many see as broken.
The group recently unveiled big plans for immigration reform that would allow currently illegal immigrants brought to the U.S. as children, those who are parents or spouses of citizens or lawful permanent residents, and those who work in certain industries to remain in the United States without the fear of deportation until being eligible for permanent residency or full citizenship status.
These immigrants would have to meet very strict criteria, must have relatively clean criminal records, and would be required to pay fines for the time that they were illegally in the country – but at least they would be able to stay.
Proposals, Not Promises
Despite all of the support which the proposals by the gang of eight have managed to garner, the deportations continue. Many are calling the deportations a political ploy by the Obama administration to show how drastic of an effect on people’s lives current policy is having. A spokesperson for the National Day Laborer Organizing Network went so far as to say that the Obama administration is “imparting fear and suffering” on the Latino community and has effectively criminalized the immigrant class in America.
Whatever anyone might think of the deportations, one thing’s for sure, that they are in fact the direct result of a failed immigration system.
No matter what proposals have been made in Congress, true change will not occur until the government is able to come up with a reform plan that can be passed into law. This means that, until the proposals are passed into law, illegal immigrants currently living in the United States will continue to have to live under the oppression of current immigration reform policies.
Advice for Illegal Immigrants
Immigrants currently living in the United States illegally have every right to be excited over the prospect of reform, but until proposals become law, there is little that they can do against the risk of deportation.
While immigration reform remains up in the air, illegal immigrants are encouraged to speak with an experienced immigration reform attorney for advice on their specific case. In many cases, an illegal immigrant, even one who has already remained illegally in the country for a number of years, may be able to qualify for legal residency – but this is a very fact specific issue that will require an exhaustive overview of the specific immigrant’s case.
Contrary to what they may think, even illegal immigrants have the right to legal advice from counsel. If they are worried about the effect that their status as an illegal immigrant will have on the opportunity to receive legal advice, immigrants can contact an immigration attorney anonymously, by phone or email, for general advice on the issues most important to them.
Illegal immigrants are also encouraged to speak with an experienced immigration reform attorney to ensure they receive only the most up to date and accurate information, as Uncle Sam shows little remorse for those who rely on rumors and wrong information.